Ornamental paint suppliers accuse competitors of trademark infringement

Two decorative paint suppliers are taking legal action against a Georgia company and 3 individuals, declaring trademark violation.

Jolie Design & D cor Inc. and Annie Sloan Interiors LTD filed a lawsuit April 8 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana versus Websters Chalk Paint Powder LLC of Newman, Georgia, Lorraine C. Beckman, Toy Nicole Goodwin and Heather Dohn Miller, alleging they broke the Lanham Act.

According to the grievance, the complainants have suffered and will continue to suffer permanent injury to its business credibility and trademark dilution unless the offenders are restrained by the court. The complainants declare the accused created a marketplace of confusion, offered powder for use with ornamental paints and provided its powder for sale under the terms Webster Chalk Paint Powder, which directly infringed the complainants’ Chalk Paint trademark. You can read more about US patent attorney here.

Trademark infringement

The complainants look for a trial by jury, initial and long-term telling the defendants from more acts of violation, a monetary award resulting from the accused unapproved use of the Chalk Paint trademark, lawyer charges and costs, and other relief the court deems correct. They are represented by attorneys Theodore S. Owers III, Raymond G. Areaux, Ian C. Barras, Emily L. Gummer and J Matthew Miller III of Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux LLC in New Orleans.

Circuit Backs One Attorneys’ Costs Guideline for Patent, TM Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court’s standard for identifying whether to award attorneys’ costs to the winner in a patent dispute need to be used to hallmark cases as well, a federal appeals court ruled May 3.

In denying offender Jeffrey Todd DeShong’s motion for lawyers’ costs, the high court applied the incorrect standard of what constitutes a remarkable case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled.


In the decision, the 5th Circuit joins numerous other federal appeals courts in discovering that the very same standard must request awarding lawyers’ costs in both patent and trademark cases.

Complainant Clive Baker and his organization, the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice Inc., sued DeShong for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. The OMSJ has a service called the HIV Innocence Group, and DeShong has a number of websites, consisting of www.hivinnocencegrouptruth.com, which claim to expose the OMSJ’s misdeeds. Baker’s suit is based upon claims that DeShong’s site infringes his hallmarks.

The district court dismissed the claims, and DeShong moved for lawyers’ costs under 1117 of the Lanham Act. The court rejected the motion, saying that the case was not exceptional because DeShong did not prove by clear and persuading proof that the plaintiffs brought the match in bad faith.

Section 1117 licenses attorneys’ costs awards to the prevailing party in extraordinary hallmark cases.

The 5th Circuit reversed. It discovered that the Supreme Court’s judgment in Octane Fitness LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1749, 2014 BL 118431, 188 L. Ed. 2d 816, 110 U.S.P.Q. 2d 1337, 134 S. Ct. 1749, 2014 BL 118431, 188 L. Ed. 2d 816, 110 U.S.P.Q. 2d 1337 (U.S. 2014) uses, even though that case discussed the area of law licensing attorneys’ fees award in patent and not trademark cases.

The court explained that 1117 of the Lanham Act and the Patent Act’s charges provision contain identical language, which indicates that Octane applies to hallmark cases. Under this analysis, the celebration looking for costs does not need to prove that the other party acted in bad faith. The winning celebration does not have to show that a case was exceptional under the higher clear and convincing requirement (83 PTD, 4/30/14).

The high court erred in asking for both bad faith and proof under the higher requirement. Instead, an extraordinary case justifying a lawyers’ charges award is one that stands out from others with respect to the substantive strength of a celebration’s prosecuting position, or where the losing celebration litigated the case in an unreasonable way.

Federal government Ought to Not Deny Offensive Trademarks

Years back, on the otherwise forgettable sketch program “Mind of Mencia,” comedian Carlos Mencia contacted his regional Department of Motor Vehicles and queried a worker on the accessibility of vanity license plates.

The n-bomb? No can do, said the DMV staff member. Exactly what about a variation on that? Nope. Offensive terms for Asians or Native Americans? I’m sorry, sir, however we cannot grant your request.

Finally, Mencia informed the DMV clerk he had one more name to attempt: “W-E-T-B-A-C-K” the comedian said, spelling the slur out in the most stereotyped Mexican accent he might summon.

” Yes, sir, that’s available.”

Colleagues working together in office

The sector ends with a faux-outraged Mencia shouting “What the–?”.

While Mencia isn’t really precisely understood for thoughtful political commentary, he struck on a vital point with that spoof– that the notoriously inefficient and tone-deaf U.S. government is quite possibly the worst judge which words stink, and which words aren’t.

The problem has ended up being appropriate once again in 2016, as the Supreme Court prepares to handle two cases challenging the Patent and Trademark Office, which like the DMV, has somehow end up being the political correctness authorities.

It appears that patent examiners and lawyers who focus on trademark law have now end up being the arbiters of what’s offending and exactly what’s appropriate.

If the Supreme Court decides to take the cases, justices will hear from a band and an expert football team opposing the patent office’s arbitrary decisions. The football team, the Washington Redskins, is familiar to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for years. The band is less known– it’s a synth-rock clothing comprised completely of Asian Americans, who go by the band name The Slants.

Simon Tam, the creator of The Slants, described atrioventricular bundle’s name to TIME publication. The name, he said, is indicated to undercut racism by taking an offending word far from individuals who would use it disparagingly.

” The name came before the band did,” Tam said. “I was talking to a friend of mine and saying I desire to start this all-Asian band and address some underlying concerns with racism. It really sounds like an enjoyable, 80s, New Wave-kind of band.

While the patent office has refused hallmarks to The Slants and the Redskins, it’s granted hallmarks to a company called Jizz that makes underwear, a bakery company called Baked by A Negro, a clothes company called Dick Balls, a saucier called Gringo Style Salsa, and a coffee company called Big Titty Blend, according to ThinkProgress.

So we live in a world where patent attorneys choose that a band ironically utilizing a name like The Slants don’t be worthy of a trademark, however a company called Jizz does. Does anybody else see the issue with that?

t4” Government efforts to restrict registration of hallmarks that are scandalous, immoral and disparaging have actually been irregular and inefficient,” Megan M. Carpenter, an intellectual property law teacher at Texas A&M, composes in The New York Times. “My research study has shown that there are lots of trademarks declined on ethical grounds that have also been signed up by other candidates. This disparity develops because marks that are outrageous or disparaging to one examiner might be appropriate to another.”.

Carpenter is right when she mentions that there’s no formula, no strict boundary that separates the offensive from the non-offensive, and more significantly, that professionals who handle arcane matters of intellectual property laws “cannot be expected to be the arbiter of a cumulative and ever-evolving ethical requirement.”.

The employees at the Patent and Trademark Office must be interested in something– whether a candidate’s asked for hallmark benefits approval.

Let consumers be the taste-makers, let people vote with their wallets and decide which companies deserve their business. If consumers are offended by a clothes company called “You Can’t Make a Housewife Out of a Whore” (which exists, per the Daily Caller), then they will not purchase items from that company. Individuals who founded it will need to go back to the drawing board, hopefully learning a lesson about the borders of taste.

Critics love to discuss government overreach, and the hallmark problem is a traditional case of the government sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. Let’s hope the Supreme Court concurs.

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